Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, speaking ahead of the
first anniversary of anti-government riots, said protesters who assault
policemen should get as much as 15 years in jail.
minister said Bahraini authorities have arrested “numerous” protesters during
the past few days for attacking police with sharp objects and Molotov
cocktails, state-run Bahrain News Agency cited him Saturday as saying.
Muslim demonstrators have stepped up their protests against the government in
the past few weeks. Last week, they began an anti-police campaign dubbed ‘Bahrain
Fist’ aimed at preventing security forces from entering Shiite villages by
attacking them with Molotov cocktails and sharp objects.
protester died in custody and at least 41 policemen were injured last week.
tensions come a few weeks before the first anniversary of anti-regime protests
led by members of the Shiite majority demanding a more representative
government and greater rights from the country’s Sunni Muslim rulers. Thirty-five
people died between Feb 14 and April 15, according to the Bahrain Independent
Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the unrest. Neighbouring Saudi
Arabia, also a Sunni monarchy, sent troops to Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s
Fifth Fleet, to help restore order.
Rashid called for unity, saying “we need a sincere resolve to reach consensus
on the need to achieve stability.”
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